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CapiTalk News from the Girl Scout Council of the Nation’s Capital

Winter 2010 |

Forever Green Environmental Town Hall >> Boeing sponsors environmental program

Boeing sponsored the first-ever Girl Scout Forever Green Town Hall on July 27. The event connected 100 Girl Scouts in the Nation’s Capital via satellite with Girl Scouts in Chicago, Southern California, Missouri and the state of Washington. Mary Armstrong, VP of Environment, Health and Safety for The Boeing Company, moderated a panel with Girl Scouts Maya Chung and Stephanie Girl Scouts Becca, Maya and James. The girls discussed their Forever Stephanie chat with Mary Armstrong. Green projects in their schools and communities. Girl Scout Becca Arbacher reported on her participation in the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen. Lauren Ashburn, Women’s Advisory Board member, moderated a panel with environmental leaders in business, non-profit and government sectors. Each panel proposed action steps that girls, citizens and communities can take to protect and preserve the earth’s natural resources and answered questions from Girl Scouts via satellite.

Don’t Be Scared, Be Prepared

>>Troop creates a PSA on emergency preparedness

Girl Scout Troop 5127 of Potomac, Maryland knows a thing or two about being prepared. They earned the Be Prepared patch, created a public service announcement (PSA) and earned the Bronze Award. The girls created the slogan, “Don’t Be Scared, Be Prepared” and with the help of EMPOWER, an emergency management organization for women, produced and starred in their own Girl Scout Troop 5217 star in a PSA they wrote, directed and television and radio PSAs. The Be Prepared produced. patch program was developed by our Council and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). The patch program provides critical emergency preparedness information and activities for all Girl Scout levels. Check out “Don’t Be Scared, Be Prepared” at:

Introducing Our New CEO >> Lidia Soto-Harmon

For the first time in 25 years, our board of directors conducted a national search for a new chief executive officer, prompted by the retirement of Executive Director, Jan Verhage. The board reached out to volunteers, staff and community stakeholders to ascertain the qualities essential for a new Council leader. It should come as no surprise that after an extensive search, the right person to lead our Council into the future was already part of the Girl Scout Council of the Nation’s Capital team. We are proud to introduce Lidia Soto-Harmon, Chief Executive Officer of the Girl Scout Council of the Nation’s Capital. For the past six years Lidia was the chief operating officer overseeing membership, adult volunteer development, program services and public relations. We are thrilled to have in Lidia a leader with a creative vision and passion for Girl Scouting at the helm of our organization. We had a chance to talk to Lidia about her new role at the Council. What is your favorite Girl Scout memory?

There are so many, but if I had to say just one it would be the weekend that my daughter, went on her first camping trip with her Girl Scout troop. In the middle of the night, I watched with amazement as my daughter put on her shoes, grabbed her flashlight and took a Brownie to the “Biffy”. This was the same child who would not go upstairs alone for fear of the dark. I witnessed first hand that Girl Scouting helps build girls of courage, confidence and character.

What is your favorite Girl Scout cookie?

I enjoy saying, “Dulce de Leche”, (and if you say if fast, several times, you will be fluent in Spanish), but I love eating freezer-cold Thin Mints. What is your favorite Girl Scout camp?

All of our camps are so beautiful—each has a unique quality which makes it hard to pick one. But after spending a full week in the August heat at Camp Coles Trip during Camp CEO, I think it has a special place in my heart. What is your vision for GSCNC?

I am most excited about leading the organization into our 100th anniversary celebration. This moment in time can transform our organization and reinforce our bond as Girl Scouts young and old. Together with the Girl Scouts of the USA, we will host the 100th Anniversary Sing-Along on the National Mall. It is my vision that this will be the largest gathering of Girl Scouts in the world. I hope our Girl Scout family will help make this a reality by participating. Girl Scouts is the best leadership program for girls and I am committed to ensuring that we brake down barriers for girls who can benefit from these life-changing experiences.

Encuentro & Your Turn To Lead

>> Conferences reach out to potential Girl Scouts Encuentro de Chicas Latinas introduced hundreds of Latina girls to Girl Scouting. This year the conference was held June 29 - 30 on the campus of George Mason University. Schools selected girls aged 11 to 17 to attend the conference based on their demonstrated leadership skills, and we encouraged girls from the same schools to participate in order to build new Girl Scout troops. During the two-day conference, which included an overnight stay in the campus dormitories, the girls participated in workshops on leadership skills, healthy behaviors and body image, discussions on college admission and scholarship opportunities, all presented by accomplished Latino professionals. Keynote speakers Linda Madrid, Senior Client Partner with Korn/Ferry International; Mignon Clyburn, Federal Communications Commissioner; and Henry Bonilla, former Congressman and business leader stressed the importance of following your dreams and reinforced the value of a college education. A special thank you to this year’s Encuentro conference sponsors: Anchor Construction Corporation, AT&T, Booz Allen Hamilton, Ernst & Young LLP, Giant Food, HSBC Bank USA, N.A., The CarMax Foundation, The J. Willard and Alice S. Marriott Foundation and the Washington Forrest Foundation. Your Turn to Lead On Saturday, May 15, over 150 girls attended the third annual Your Turn to Lead conference at Howard University to discover their abilities and strengths, connect with an amazing group of women leaders and take action to make the world a better place. While at the conference, girls participated in interactive workshops that focused on career exploration, building self-esteem, college scholarship opportunities, money management and healthy lifestyles. They also completed the new African-Americans in Congress patch program by exploring AfricanAmerican history, the civil rights movement, the legislative process and how to be an effective advocate. Thank you to the following sponsors of this year’s Your Turn to Lead: Dell Inc., Howard University, HSBC Bank USA, N.A., The J. Willard and Alice S. Marriott Foundation and Prince Charitable Trusts.

CareFirst GrowStrong

>> CareFirst Helps Girls Grow Strong CareFirst GrowStrong program completed its third year with Girl Scouts. The program teaches girls, aged 5 to 17, how to make healthy choices and practice healthy behaviors. Sponsored by CareFirst, the program has a positive and far-reaching impact on local girls. In fact, between June 2009 and May 2010, 5,294 girls aged 5 to 17 benefited from a wide variety of fun and educational GrowStrong activities at Girl Scout camps, troop meetings and Council events. We are grateful to CareFirst for their longtime, generous support of the Grow Strong program for local Girl Scouts.

Jan Verhage Endowment Successful

>> Sending 100 low-income Girl Scouts to camp each summer Last spring, in honor of our former Executive Director, Jan Verhage, the Council established the Jan Verhage Endowment for Camperships. This endowment is a poignant reminder of Jan’s commitment to girls and our camp program. We are happy to report that we surpassed our goal and raised over $740,000, which will ensure a Girl Scout camp adventure for 100 girls every summer. Thanks to all our friends who contributed to this campaign.

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Summer Camp Highlights

>> Over 14,000 girls attended Girl Scout camps Girl Scout sleep-away, day and evening camps delivered lots of fun this summer. Girls’ experienced high adventure and water sports, science and environmental stewardship, arts and crafts, and special interest programs all aimed at enhancing girls’ self-esteem and building leadership skills. This summer we held 26 community based camps serving 2,948 girls and introducing 2,213 girls to Girl Scouts. One quarter of girls attending community based camp received financial assistance to allow them to attend. Thanks to our dedicated volunteers, 40 fee funded camps offered 6,797 girls, 568 new to Girl Scouts, a week of adventure solving mysteries, enjoying boating and water sports and hiking nature trails. Our resident camps provided a safe and fun summer experience for 4,200 girls at four resident camps: Winona, Potomac Woods, Coles Trip and May Flather.

Product Sales Report

>> First-ever Fall Product Sale sees great rewards The first council-wide fall product sale program was held from September 20 through October 20 to rave reviews! Girl Scouts earned more than $100,000 for their troops. Girl Scout friends and families chose from a variety of nuts and candy selections offered by Ashdon Farms; as well as books and magazines through QSP. In addition to troop proceeds, the fall product sale enables the Council to maintain our exceptional camp properties, support volunteer leadership development and implement exciting programs for Girl Scouts throughout our region.

Important Girl Scout Dates

>> Mark your calendar for these exciting events

2011 January 24

Online registration for Girl Scout camps begins.

March 11 - 13

Keys to Leadership, National Conference on Inclusion hosted by GSCNC at American University, Washington, DC. Visit for more details.

March 12

Girl Scout Day at the Air and Space Museum, Chantilly, VA.

March 19

Girl Scout Day at the Newseum, Washington, DC.

April 9

GSCNC Annual Meeting at the National Conference Center, Leesburg, VA. Registration will begin in February.

November 10 - 13

GSUSA National Council Session, Houston, TX. Visit for more details.


Council Forums Opportunity for members, represented by Delegates, to provide input to the GSCNC board. Check your Service Unit for more information. February 12, 2011: TBA Location February 16, 2011: TBA Location March 13, 2011: Washington, DC March 14, 2011: Martinsburg and Waldorf March 16, 2011: Virtual

Girl Scouts 100th Anniversary Year

March 17

Girl Scouts 100th Anniversary Interfaith Service, National Cathedral, Washington, DC. More information coming soon.


GSUSA and GSCNC host the 100th Anniversary Girl Scout Sing-Along Celebration on the National Mall. More information coming soon.

Dates are subject to change, so please check our website as the dates approach for more information.

Every cookie has a mission; every Girl Scout has a story. Share yours. Email with your story.

Women of Distinction

>> Event honoring women raises over $45,000

Girl Scouts in the Eastern Panhandle of West Virginia honored three local Left to Right: Sheila M. Hamilton, women at the annual Women of Rebecca Linton, Betty Lou Harmison. Distinction event September 29, in Martinsburg, WV. The women, Rebecca Linton, Regional Manager, City National Bank; Betty Lou Harmison, Vice President, Museum of the Berkeley Springs; and Sheila M. Hamilton, an advocate for education, distinguished themselves as outstanding community and business leaders and role models for girls. This year the program supported the Gold Award Scholarship Endowment. A $25,000 Gold Award challenge grant, funded by Eva Woolridge and daughter Lynne Steptoe of Martinsburg, WV was exceeded thanks to the generosity of many local businesses and individuals supporting Women of Distinction. The Council raised an additional $45,000. Special recognition to the Leadership sponsors: BCT, Bank of Charles Town; Pennington Auto; The Meltzer Group; and HMS Technologies.

Milk and Cookies with the CBCF

>> Introducing the African-Americans in Congress patch Girl Scouts of the USA National President Connie Lindsay and National CEO Kathy Cloninger joined GSCNC for a Milk and Cookies reception at the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation’s Annual Legislative Conference to celebrate the launch of the African-Americans in Congress patch program. The new program, sponsored by Dell Inc. and Faye Fields, CEO of Integrated Technologies, Inc., empowers teenage girls to learn about the history of the civil rights movement in order to gain a better understanding of how to be an effective advocate. Girl Scout Marchelle Huggins recited a poem while Girl Scout troop 4484 performed their winning step routine. Over 200 guests and congressional leaders attended the gathering on September 16, including Congresswomen Donna Edwards from Maryland and Eddie Bernice Johnson from Texas. Troop 4484 with Girl Scout leadership: Kathy Cloninger, Diane Tipton, Connie Lindsay and Lidia Soto-Harmon.

Girl Scout Marchelle Huggins and GSCNC President Diane Tipton.


Tea at the White House

>>Girl Scouts enjoy meeting First Ladies

Tricia Nixon Cox with Girl Scout Megan Taylor.

Girl Scouts attended a special tea at the White House as guests of Mrs. Obama to celebrate Mother’s Day. Girl Scouts Megan Taylor of La Plata, MD and Laurel Morton of Winchester, VA invited the most influential woman in their lives—their mothers. Mrs. Obama gave the keynote address and the girls were seated with special guests, former First Lady Rosalyn Carter and President Nixon’s daughter Tricia Nixon Cox. Also attending the May 7th event were Vice President Joe Biden’s wife, Dr. Jill Biden, President Dwight Eisenhower’s granddaughters Susan and Anne Eisenhower and mothers of military members. First Lady Rosalyn Carter with Girl Scout Laurel Morton.

Funding Developments >>Thank you! The Girl Scout Council of the Nation’s Capital would like to thank the following foundations, corporations and government agencies for their generous grants to support Girl Scouting in Greater Washington Region: • Anchor Construction Corporation for Encuentro de Chicas Latinas de las Girl Scouts • Anybill for the Business Salute to Jan Verhage • AT&T for Encuentro de Chicas Latinas de las Girl Scouts • Bank of America Foundation for the Young Leaders Program • BDO Seidman, LLP for the Business Salute to Jan Verhage • Booz Allen Hamilton for the Jan Verhage Endowment for Camperships, the Environmental Leadership Institute, the On Your Way Life Skills Workshop and the Make the Connection Corporate Mentorship Program • The Morris and Gwendolyn Cafritz Foundation for outreach day camps and the executive search for the council’s new CEO • Calvert for the Jan Verhage Endowment for Camperships • Capital One for the Jan Verhage Endowment for Camperships and the Capital Currency Financial Literacy Program • CareFirst for the GrowStrong Healthy Living Program • Dimick Foundation for Girl Scout outreach in low-income communities • Early Cassidy & Schilling for the Business Salute to Jan Verhage • Eastern West Virginia Community Foundation for Girl Scout programs in Jefferson, Berkeley and Morgan counties in West Virginia • GEICO for the DASHboard Road Safety Program • Giant Food for Encuentro de Chicas Latinas de las Girl Scouts • Girl Scouts of the USA and the Dove Self-Esteem Fund for the Journey 3 Pilot Program • Girl Scouts of the USA and Kappa Delta Sorority for the National Girls’ Day Event • Girl Scouts of the USA and the Mitsubishi Electric America Foundation for Girl Scout outreach to girls with disabilities

• Girl Scouts of the USA and the Rockefeller Philanthropic Advisors Fund for the Forever Green Program • Guest Services for the Business Salute to Jan Verhage • Holland & Knight for the Business Salute to Jan Verhage • HSBC Bank USA, N.A. for Encuentro de Chicas Latinas de las Girl Scouts and Your Turn to Lead • Korn Ferry International for the Business Salute to Jan Verhage • Leftwich & Ludaway LLC for the Business Salute to Jan Verhage • Little Brownie Bakers for the Jan Verhage Endowment for Camperships • The George Preston Marshall Foundation for sleep-away camperships • MedStar Health for the Business Salute to Jan Verhage • Montgomery County for capital projects at Camp Brighton Woods • Northrop Grumman Corporation for Girl Scout Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) programs • PEPCO for the Jan Verhage Endowment for Camperships • Polinger, Shannon & Luchs Company for the Business Salute to Jan Verhage • Prince Charitable Trusts for the Jan Verhage Endowment for Camperships • Prince George’s County for camperships for girls from Prince George’s County, MD • The State of Maryland for capital projects at Camp Brighton Woods • TMA Resources for the Business Salute to Jan Verhage • United States Golf Association for the Girl Scout/First Tee Golf Program • Verizon for the Business Salute to Jan Verhage • Wachovia for the Business Salute to Jan Verhage • Washington Forrest Foundation for Encuentro de Chicas Latinas de las Girl Scouts

Join the conversation

President: Diane Tipton CEO: Lidia Soto-Harmon Editor: Sarah Parillo Questions?


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You didn’t miss it! Girl Scout Stuff can be found online at Submit your items for Girl Scout Stuff to

CapiTalk is published by the Girl Scout Council of the Nation’s Capital 4301 Connecticut Avenue, NW Washington, DC 20008 202.237.1670 800.523.7898

News from the Girl Scout Council of the Nation’s Capital

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This publication features program ideas and volunteer information.


This publication features program ideas and volunteer information.