Years ago, Girl Experience Manager Kate Kimple had an idea to host a leadership conference for Girl Scouts across the state of Iowa.
“I knew I wanted to do something with older Girl Scouts. [Over the years] it’s been kind of hit or miss with older girls, but lately we’ve seen a large number of very active Cadettes and 5th grade-level Juniors. Strategically, we wanted to keep their momentum going and engage with them, and so we thought this would be the perfect time to launch the summit,” said Kimple.
Forty Girl Scouts from across the state gathered at Drake University for the inaugural Girls in Action Summit, funded in part by a grant from Microsoft.
The programming offered girls a variety of topics ranging from inclusion, advocacy, digital leadership, and public speaking. Four incredible community members lead the sessions and breakout activities.
“We did breakout activities where they could write their own personal mission statement – what they believe in and how that could shape the things they do,” said Kimple.
The girls also spent time mapping out their communities to identify gaps and needs, and then brainstormed resources that could help address those needs.
“It’s a great activity that leads into planning the higher award projects,” said Kimple.
Girls also learned about their digital landscapes – what technology and resources they use that could help them become better leaders. And the final session, focused on public speaking, they learned how to advocate and get others to join their cause.
“The girls were so engaged. From our very first speaker at 9am, they were asking questions. Plus, our speakers did a really great job of tying their topics to the girls and where they’re at in real-life situations as middle and high schoolers,” said Kimple.
Lily, a Junior Girl Scout from the Northwestern corner of the state, enjoyed her experience at the summit.
“The summit was so much fun. I learned a lot. I especially liked the part on public speaking. It is scary to do, but he helped me gain confidence. I also liked [Keesha’s] talk about including all people, because that is so important,” she said.
Overall, girls were inspired to become more active, informed, and inclusive leaders in their communities.
“It was such a bucket-filling kind of feeling. To have the first in-person event be such an amazing, inspiring event was great!” said Kimple.
You can support Girl Scouts of Greater Iowa’s girl programming by donating today.