2014 National Convention Wrap-Up

Celebrating and discovering ways to better connect girls to leadership opportunities was the purpose behind the 2014 National Council Session/53rd Convention, held October 16-19 in Salt Lake City, Utah. 

Our adult delegates and girl representatives experienced an array of thought-provoking conversations, inspiring speakers and entertainers, and fun with friends old and new during the three-day event.

"Discover, Connect, Take Action: Girls Change the World" was the theme of this year's convention. GSAK's adult delegates included:
  • Sue Perles, GSAK CEO
  • Allison Mendel, GSAK board secretary
  • Deb Boland, Anchorage
  • Anne Kurland, Juneau 
  • Leila Pyle, Kodiak (currently attending college out of state)  
GSAK CEO Sue Perles flew to Salt Lake City two days before the convention to meet with Anna Maria Chavez, CEO of Girl Scouts USA; GSUSA Board Chair Kathy Hopinkah Hannan; and other council CEOs to discuss and vote on three key administrative decisions. 

Sue left the convention early so she could speak at the Alaska Women's Summit in Anchorage on the topic of redefining "Like a Girl." This gave college student Leila Pyle the opportunity to step in and serve as one of our convention delegates. 

The convention also included a Girl Scout Leadership Institute. Our GSLI representatives included:
  • Kharissa Chasse, Palmer
  • Jordan Cooper, Juneau 
  • Lacey Davis, Juneau 
  • Rebecca Hassler, Juneau 
GSLI representatives were chosen based on an application and follow-up interview.

GSAK historian Cindy Littell and staff members Lisa Mead and Tasha Nichols also attended the convention. Allison Mendel's granddaughter, Zoraleda Mendel, attended as a guest.

GSAK had four girl representatives at the convention.
L to R: Kharissa Chasse, Rebecca Hassler, Jordan Cooper, Lacey Davis

"The convention provided an incredible opportunity for our girls and adult delegates to connect, explore, create, and celebrate," GSAK CEO Sue Perles said. "From theme dinners to Girl Scout University sessions, there was something for everyone."

Jordan, Kharissa, Lacey, and Rebecca took part in the 2014 Girl Scout Leadership Institute, during which the girls learned about seven different global issues, like education and gender equality, along with ways to make changes in those areas. The girls also heard from inspiring keynote speakers such as:
  • Dr. Tererai Trent, president and founder of Tererai Trend International Foundation, which works to provide quality education and improve the livelihoods of communities in rural Zimbabwe;  
  • Candice Kislack, the founder of TOMS' Shoes "One for One" brand; and  
  • Elizabeth Smart, founder of the Elizabeth Smart Foundation, which works to prevent and stop predatory crimes. 
"The GSLI really gave the girls a chance to learn about key issues, identify partners or allies, go beneath the issues to identify root causes, and lead Take Action projects with passion to help change the world," GSAK Program & Travel Specialist Lisa Mead said.

Zoraleda Mendel answers the question 
"What can't you wait to do with Girl Scouts?"

Kharissa, Lacey, and Rebecca chose Take Action projects that focus on body image, while Jordan chose education. During the convention, the girls learned skills that will help them implement their Take Action projects in their communities. As they implement their projects, the girls will receive assistance and mentorship from Lisa and Anne Kurland.

Thank you to the delegates, girls, and staff for representing GSAK at the 2014 National Convention!