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Fort Dodge Girl Scout represents Greater Iowa council at 2020 National Convention

*Girl Scout Katherine Berry pictured with former Girl Scouts of the USA CEO, Sylvia Acevedo. Photo taken prior to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Senior Girl Scout Katherine Berry from Fort Dodge is a ten-year member of Girl Scouts. Already a Silver Award Girl Scout, she’s now working on her Gold Award. This fall, Berry checked a big box off of her Girl Scout list; serving as a girl delegate for Girl Scouts of Greater Iowa (GSGI) at the National Council Session.

What does this mean? The National Council Session, taking place once every three years, brings representatives from all councils together to discuss business of Girl Scouts of the United States of America (GSUSA). GSGI gets to send eight delegates to each convention.

Berry applied and was granted delegate position by GSGI’s Board of Directors earlier in the year based on her interest in the position and leadership experience.

“I went to (the convention) in 2017 in Columbus, Ohio as a visitor and didn’t know a whole lot about what delegates did. I talked to a few [girl delegates] of them, and decided I wanted to become a future delegate as a way to give back to Girl Scouts,” Berry said.

And so, she did. While this year looked different as the 3-day convention was held virtually, Berry still embraced her role.

Delegates discussed and voted on six topics during the convention; marking the highest amount in many years. Topics ranged from exploring Gold Award foundations to membership dues settings, to when terms will start for future delegates.

“We discussed a special project regarding girl mental health through the pandemic, heard reports from the World Commissioner, and gave input on the national GSUSA CEO search,” Berry said.

Berry hopes to bring things back to a local level and educate other Girl Scouts about the governance of the whole organization.

“I definitely learned a lot about governance and procedures, and how things work. I also learned a lot more about what goes on behind the scenes with Girl Scouts at the national level,” Berry said.

The opportunity to be a delegate at the National Convention is special, no matter your relationship to Girl Scouting, but Berry says she felt the strong sense of sisterhood that Girl Scouts brings to women despite the barriers the 2020 convention faced.

“Every day before the actual business started, we had sing-a-long sessions and it was really nice to feel the sisterhood, even though virtual,” Berry said.