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The impact of Girl Scouting

It’s exciting to know that for the past 100 years, Girl Scouts has provided girls with more ways to learn and lead than any other organization. The Girl Scout Leadership Experience (GSLE) identifies three keys to leadership and Girl Scout activities: Discover: girls understand themselves and their values and use their knowledge and skills to explore the world. Connect: girls care about, inspire and team with others locally and globally. Take Action: girls act to make the world a better place. These leadership experiences for girls make Girl Scouting unique.

In 2012, Girl Scouts of Southeast Wisconsin (GSWISE) had more than 29,300 girls proceed on their path to leadership. This represents the largest total membership since GSWISE was formed five years ago. Every year GSWISE asks girls about their Girl Scout experience and how their membership in Girl Scouting has impacted their lives. This information was published in the GSWISE 2012 Impact Report. The report highlighted several ways GSWISE helped girls become trailblazers as they make a difference and change the world. The report shows that girls:

Leadership is defined not only by the qualities and skills a girl has, but also by how those qualities and skills are used to make a difference in the world. At Girl Scouts everything centers on the girl: activities are girlled and give girls the opportunity to learn by doing. To accomplish this Girl Scouts focuses on 15 short-term goals (outcomes) that help girls gain specific knowledge, skills, attitudes, behaviors and values. Tying the program experience to outcomes serves three vital functions: measuring the impact of the experience, determining what modifications may be needed, and communicating how girls are benefiting.

• developed a stronger sense of self (93%). • learned how to cooperate and work better in a team environment (87%). • learned how to use the resources around me to problem solve (89%). • feel empowered to make a difference in the world (94%). • learned to advocate for myself and others (85%). To read the full agency-wide outcomes report, go to and click on 2012 Impact Report.

“I would not be who I am today without Girl Scouts. Girl Scouts has made me more confident, a better leader, more creative, able to communicate better with others, and has changed my life.” - Graduating Girl Scout Senior

Milwaukee Cadette receives Lifesaving Medal of Honor A Milwaukee area family is especially thankful for the courage, confidence, and character their 12-year-old daughter and granddaughter learned through Girl Scouting. Girl Scout Cadette Arianna recognized her grandmother was dangerously ill and took the necessary steps to get her medical attention, resulting in saving her life. In recognition of her heroic efforts, Arianna was honored with the Girl Scouts of the USA National Lifesaving Medal of Honor. Arianna’s grandmother had fallen and called Arianna to come home to help her up. When Arianna arrived, she realized her grandmother had not simply fallen, but was out of breath, sweating, and mixing up her words. Arianna immediately called 911. Before the ambulance arrived Arianna collected her grandmother’s medications and insurance information. She then rode with her grandmother to the hospital and told the doctors what she experienced. The doctors discovered Arianna’s grandmother had two infections and a weakened heart, requiring surgery and a weeklong stay at the hospital. “I don’t remember a lot of the detail, but I thank her for her actions,” said Arianna’s grandmother, Rita. Arianna credits Girl Scouting for making her prepared to make the right decisions that day – she says, “Girl Scouting taught me to be a leader, use the resources I have around me, and to think outside of the box.” Only 19 other Girl Scouts across the country received this award in 2012, demonstrating that it is a very rare honor.

Capstone to a historic year and an exciting beginning to 2013 2013

What a year


National Girl Scout Cookie Day Girl Scouts of the USA declared February 8, 2013 National Girl Scout Cookie Day to celebrate the world’s largest girl-run business and the real purpose of the $790 million cookie program: to teach girls five essential skills: goal setting, decision making, money management, business ethics, and people skills.

was for Girl Scouting and it can be assured that 2013 and our next century are going to be even greater. Here are some of the highlights: 2012 declared the Year of the Girl

Rock the Ice

In a move designed to focus national attention on girls and the issues they face, Girl Scouts of the USA (GSUSA) declared 2012 the Year of the Girl: a celebration of girls, recognition of their leadership potential, and a commitment to creating a coalition of like-minded organizations and individuals in support of balanced leadership in the workplace and in communities across the country.

More than 9,000 Girl Scout voices were heard reciting the Girl Scout Promise at Rock the Ice, a family event held at the Bradley Center. It kicked off the 100th Anniversary and included hands-on activities for girls and their families, entertainment, and an Admiral hockey game where the players wore specially designed commemorative jerseys.

Launched ToGetHerThere program The ToGetHerThere program encourages girls to lead tomorrow’s boardrooms and courthouses and run our hospitals and technology start-ups. This program was created to have an impact on girls today and to help them lead for a better tomorrow.

Presidential Medal of Freedom President Obama awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom to the founder of Girl Scouts, Juliette Gordon Low. The medal is the highest civilian award in the United States, recognizing individuals who have made an especially meritorious contribution to the security or national interest of the United States, world peace, cultural or other significant public or private endeavors.

Cookie kudos Girl Scouts’ Thin Mint cookies outsold OREO® Cookies by 102 %!

Marion Chester Read Center 25th Anniversary GSWISE marked the 25th anniversary of the Marion Chester Read Center with an Open House. Remarks from Marion and Barbara Alderson (Executive Director at the time the building was constructed) reflected on some of the memorable adventures of finding and building the center.

Membership growth for GSWISE GSWISE saw a 1% increase in membership growth compared to the previous year. GSWISE now serves over 29,300 girls, the largest total membership since GSWISE was formed five years ago!

Girl Scouts turned 100 It was 100 years since founder Juliette Gordon Low gathered 18 girls for the first Girl Scout meeting in Savannah, Georgia, on March 12, 1912. Girl Scouts celebrated its 100th birthday with many funfilled activities!

Credit: Collection of Juliette Gordon Low Birthplace and Girl Scout National Historic Preservation Center

USA Centennial Silver Dollar As a memento of the Girl Scout Centennial, the United States Mint developed a commemorative Girl Scout USA Centennial Silver Dollar coin that captures the power of Girl Scouting and honors the history of the Girl Scout movement.

Cookie program innovates to meet demand GSWISE moved to a “no wait” Girl Scout Cookie Program Activity for 2013. This direct sale format gave girls cookies in-hand to immediately sell to friends, neighbors and family instead of taking orders and delivering cookies months later. Many councils throughout the U.S. have adopted this direct sale format. Volunteers and families have said it is much easier to sell, it takes less time to sell, and girls are able to sell more. GSWISE also condensed the “selling season” from ten weeks to four weeks. Another innovative move was the first ever drive-thru cookie booth at State Fair Park. This three-day cookie extravaganza helped to celebrate the first National Girl Scout Cookie Day on February 8. Girl Scout cookie entrepreneurs sold eight varieties.

70 percent of women in Senate were Girl Scouts Girl Scout alumnae! If you include the House as well, 60 percent of women in Congress were once Girl Scouts. The fact that some of our nation’s brightest stars are former Girl Scouts is no coincidence. Girl Scouting teaches a number of skills from financial literacy and environmental awareness to how to be in tune with community needs.

For over a hundred years, Girl Scouts has been in the forefront of creating positive social change for girls, developing young women of courage and character who are today advancing into leadership roles in our society. In January five new women were inaugurated into the United States Senate, bringing the total number of female Senators to 20, the largest proportion in history. Of the 20 women now serving in the Senate, 14, or 70 percent are

Girl Scouts’ ToGetHerThere campaign is a great example of how Girl Scouting continues to empower girls to be the leaders of tomorrow. The ToGetHerThere campaign aims to increase the number of women in leadership roles through mentorship and supportive environments by developing skills and helping girls become the leaders the world needs. These 14 women Senators have put their Girl Scouts skills to use and have entered one of the most powerful legislative bodies in the world!

A message from the CEO What a year 2012 was for Girl Scouting! I am excited to see that the GSWISE Impact Report shows we are continuing to positively impact girls in Southeastern Wisconsin. Girl Scouting is meeting girls’ definition of what it takes to be a leader and engages girls in discovering themselves, connecting with others, and taking action to make the world a better place.

Photo Credit: Business Journal Serving Greater Milwaukee

Since Juliette Gordon Low founded Girl Scouts in 1912, the world has changed dramatically. Social, cultural, and economic shifts that once took shape over a generation or more now occur rapidly and often have a global impact. By allowing girls to tell their Girl Scout story and provide input about their experiences, we know we are achieving the intended 15 outcomes, and girls will be prepared to be leaders who make the world a better place.

In our next 100 years, Girl Scouts will continue to expand its reach while providing even more impactful opportunities to each girl who makes the Girl Scout Promise. Yours in Girl Scouting,

Christy Please join us in securing the future of Girl Scouting for girls in our community by establishing a planned gift to Girl Scouts of Wisconsin Southeast. Contact Tracy Wayson at to learn how to include Girl Scouts in your estate plans.

New Silver Dollar recognizes girls of courage, confidence, and character The United States Mint honored the Centennial of the Girl Scouts of the USA with the minting of a commemorative coin. The 2013 Girl Scouts USA Centennial Silver Dollar coin was created to mark the end of the yearlong celebration of the 100th anniversary of Girl Scouting and to honor the next 100 years. The coin designs were inspired by both the historical and contemporary aspects of Girl Scouting. The “heads” side of the coin was inspired by the Girl Scout mission and is inscribed with the words “Courage, Confidence, Character” and shows images of three Girl Scouts of different ages and diversity. The “tails” side displays the Girl Scout trefoil logo. The U.S. Mint issues just two commemorative coins a year. Up to 350,000 commemorative silver dollar coins will be produced and are now available for purchase. The price of the collectible coin is $55.95 uncirculated. A surcharge from the sale of each coin will be paid to Girl Scouts of the USA’s national program development and delivery, which helps girls grow into their best selves. The Girl Scout anniversary coin marks the first time the U.S. Mint has produced a commemorative coin dedicated to a girls’ organization. The coins are sold by the U. S. Mint by mail order and online at

GSWISE First LEGO League teams are winners For the past three years GSWISE has been involved with robotics and the First LEGO League (FLL). The robotics program is designed to inspire young people to be science and technology leaders by engaging in exciting programs that build science, engineering, math and technology skills. The FLL also emphasizes core vales such as gracious professionalism, cooperation and having fun.

To read the full stories go to and click on the From the Pages of Discover button

BE A Friend First (BFF) – Find out more about the innovative bullying-prevention initiative for middle-school girls.

This year’s theme was “Senior Solutions.” Eight Girl Scouts teams, sponsored by Time Warner Cable, participated in FLL and explored how to improve the quality of life for senior citizens through robotics. Teams were made up of girls in grades 4-8. The girls, with support from their coaches, spent many hours exploring ideas, planning and practicing for the completion. The FLL regional competition took place in November and the state tournament was in December. Teams Robomotion, Believers, Galilego, LOL, Einsteinbots and Silver Ladies won awards at the regional level and four of our teams, Believers, Einsteinbots, LOL and Silver Ladies advanced to the state tournament. Two teams, Believers and LOL took home state awards! Team believers won 1st place Gracious Professionalism and Team LOL won 2nd place Gracious Professionalism. Coach Jen of Believers also won the Coach/Mentor Award for her excellent guidance and support. Team Einsteinbots has also been entered into a Global Innovation Award contest for their innovate solution “the Senior Saver.” The team has applied for a provisional patent on their product and it will undergo intense judging by FIRST, AARP and Edison Nation. The winner will receive $20,000 to help get their product started in production. All of our Girl Scout FLL teams, Believers, Einstenbots, Galilego, i-Wolves, LOL, Robomotion, Silver Ladies and Tech Geeks demonstrated dedication, perseverance and great teamwork.

Healthy Media – Learn more about how to support efforts to increase the number of female characters in the media.

Summer Camp & Events - Preview all of the exciting adventures that are available for your girl this summer.



where are they now?

From Girl Scout to CFO – and the role Girl Scouting played



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No doubt if there were Bronze, Silver and Gold Awards to be earned when Gail was a Girl Scout, she would have earned all three!

Stay connected and join the Girl Scout Alumnae Association. Go online today at and share a Girl Scout memory or email to share an alumna update or recent accomplishment.


When asked how things have changed since she was a Girl Scout, Gail replied, “There were no Bronze, Silver or Gold Awards. There were cookies to be sold, badges to be earned and annual trips to summer camp.”

• The Girl Scout Promise • Sit upons • Learning how to tie knots • How to build a fire


As she reflects on how Girl Scouts guided her toward her successes in business today, Gail said, “There is a bond with women I come in contact with in business because we share experience as Girl Scouts. I am also encouraged to see that my female co-workers are involved in the scouting experiences of their daughters.”

Do You Remember?

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It was experiences like these that helped prepare Gail for her leadership roles today. “My roles in Girl Scouting gave me the opportunity to lead others, to speak in public, and to take on increasing responsibility,” said Gail.

“Girl Scouting opens opportunities to learn things that school and family do not teach. It also exposes girls to a variety of individuals that they may not otherwise come in contact with. More importantly, it provides girls with opportunities to lead and take risks in a supportive environment,” said Gail.


Known at the time as a Senior Girl Scout, Gail learned how committees function. She also learned the importance of planning as she traveled and worked with other girls and leaders to organize a three week trip to the National Girl Scout Center in Ten Sleep, Wyoming.

Gail also believes Girl Scouts continue to prepare today’s young women to become successful adults.


As a junior in high school, Gail’s local troop had two adult volunteers but no troop leader. She took it upon herself to assume the role of troop leader for over 20 girls who depended upon her for meetings and events.

When Gail was a girl member, Girl Scouts didn’t have the Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) program, now a cornerstone of today’s Girl Scout agenda. Her philosophy and understanding of finance would fit in well with the STEM program today because she feels that understanding financial results is the key to effective management of operations.

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A Girl Scout for almost 15 years, Gail L. Hanson has had a number of leadership opportunities that contributed to her success today as the Chief Financial Officer at Aurora Health Care. A role typically not Gail L. Hanson, Chief Financial Officer at Aurora Health Care held by women, she is responsible for accounting, affiliation due diligence, and finance and treasury services at an organization offering services in more than 90 communities in Wisconsin and northern Illinois. In addition to her role at Aurora, Gail also serves on the State of Wisconsin Deferred Compensation Board, the Aurora Health Care Board, two mutual fund boards and the financial Accounting Standards Advisory Council. She also briefly served on the board of Girl Scouts in Milwaukee. Gail attributes her ability to juggle all of these roles to the many skills she learned in Girl Scouting.

Once a Girl Scout always a Girl Scout


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Girl Scouts of Wisconsin Southeast 131 South 69th Street P.O. Box 14999 Milwaukee, WI 53214-0999

Christy L. Brown, CEO Kathleen O’Brien, Board Chair Girls Scouts of Wisconsin Southeast is funded by area United Ways, public support, and product sales.

SUMMER ADVENTURES: Helping girls continue their Leadership Journey this summer

Girl Scout camp and summer activities will be happening soon. Summer camp is about making new friends, growing independence, learning to appreciate the environment, and accepting responsibility.

“Camp gave me courage to start trying new things…to explore the world, do different things, have fun while doing it and to engage with different people.” ~ Alexus, Girl Scout

Your support goes a long way toward helping Girl Scouts enhance the social fabric of the areas in which we live, ensuring we maintain a lasting legacy of girls with leadership skills and community awareness, all while building lifelong memories – memories that girls like Alexus will never forget. Help make memories she and other girls will have for a life time. Financial aid opportunities are available to ensure all girls have access to life changing summer experiences through Girl Scouts. You can help a girl go to camp by making an online gift today at

Discover Spring 2013 - Milwaukee & Ozaukee County