Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Adult Learning Summit Draws Volunteers from Across the State

They came from Bethel, Kodiak, Ketchikan and Homer. They learned how to conduct ceremonies and traditions, work with youth with disabilities, lead environmental education programs, and even basic bow and arrow skills. 

GSAK's fourth annual Adult Learning Summit, held November 8-9 in Anchorage, taught adult volunteers about GSAK, strengthened their youth-development skills, and allowed them to network with other volunteers. This fun and educational two-day event also included an awards ceremony and addresses from U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski and state Rep. Mia Costello.

 GSAK CEO Sue Perles (left) with Anchorage Rep. Mia Costello 

“Our goal is to better prepare our adult volunteers,” Director of Program & Membership Tasha Nichols said. “When adults gain skills and strengthen their techniques, it creates a better and more positive experience for our girls.” 

Valerie Peace is a troop leader in Anchorage. This was her second year attending the Adult Learning Summit. “When I found out Girl Scouts was holding the event again, I was ecstatic,” Valerie said. “Last year I was desperate for information. I’d just become a troop leader and I needed basic information on what do to and how to do it. An unanticipated benefit was meeting incredible volunteers from across the state; I was mesmerized by their talent, experience and think-outside-the-box approach. This year I was able to connect more with these volunteers. They shared experiences my girls are champing at the bit to do. I came away feeling hopeful and energized.” 

A volunteer from Kodiak (left) and Victoria Lord, member service specialist for Ketchikan and the lower Southeast region, attend a "Journey to Girl Scouting" learning session

GSAK works with 1,500 adult volunteers to help create a safe, inclusive environment for Alaska’s diverse population of girls. Guided by these volunteers, girls develop qualities that will serve them all their lives. 

More than 60 volunteers attended the 2013 Adult Learning Summit. Ten individuals and four Service Units received awards for their volunteer contributions to GSAK. Service Units are neighborhoods or regions comprised of troops and managed by volunteers.  

  2013 Adult Award recipients 

Anne Kurland, who volunteers as GSAK's Juneau Service Unit manager, was both an attendee and presenter at this year’s Adult Learning Summit. “This is my third time attending the summit. I love connecting with volunteers from all over the state and sharing ideas and stories," Anne said. "Everyone has so much to offer, and I always go home feeling more enthused than ever about all the possibilities of Girl Scouting.”