In recent weeks, the Girl Scouts–Arizona Cactus-Pine Council (GSACPC) welcomed its new board chair, Lupe Camargo, during its annual meeting, which was held virtually given COVID-19. During the event, Camargo offered thanks to outgoing chair, Teri Kelley, as well as explained her journey with Girl Scouting and goals for her term. The Council shared this speech with AZ Big Media as a means to empower, inspire and advocate for girls and women across Arizona.
We share it below:
I want to start by saying a few words about Teri Kelley, our departing Board Chair. Because Teri and I both work in Financial Services we sat side by side on the same committees… committees that involved the finances, and allocation of those finances. I witnessed her humble leadership that has helped make this council stronger. Her passion for Girl Scouts driving the work she has done, helped to ensure that we serve more girls and serve girls more… It’s been an honor to serve with you Teri, you are a Servant Leader, and your mark on this council will last for generations. Thank you!
Many of you, like Teri, have been involved with Girl Scouting for many years. You may have been a Girl Scout in your youth, and your mother may have been your troop leader. I want to share with you my Girl Scout story…
Fifteen years ago, I walked into my first Girl Scout meeting. My daughter, now 20 years old, started as a Daisy in her Kindergarten class. We were both excited for the fun she would have, especially the 3 Cs we would experience: Cookies, Camping, and Crafts. As she remained involved, and I eventually became her troop leader I learned that yes, Cookies, Camping and Crafts were an important part of Girl Scouting…however, we learned there was much more — Three more Cs: Courage, Confidence, and Character.
Eventually I was invited to be part of Community Advisory Board helping the council better understand and better serve our growing Latina population. From there, I was invited to the Board, and served for 12 years. I can attest that throughout all those years with Girl Scouts, not only did it help make my daughter a better leader, but it made me a better leader as well. And now here I am – extremely honored to serve as your Board Chair.
Honestly…I never could have imagined my first days as a Board Chair would involve a global pandemic. I know that for many of you this is becoming an increasingly challenging and stressful time, creating enormous changes in your lives. But we are here together, figuring it out, working hard to support our Girl Scout families.
I can’t help but think that along with all the other Cs I mentioned, these past several weeks have highlighted another group of Girl Scout Cs: Creativity, Compassion, and Community
Creativity: Girls, volunteers, parents and staff have quickly shifted to other methods to keep our troops going in innovated ways. I am so inspired by the ingenuity we are seeing. With virtual Girl Scouting, and new ways to adapt, we continue to provide the Girl Scout experience.
Compassion: We know that many people are hurting, worried, and anxious about their new realities, or what may be on the horizon. Among these challenges, the Girl Scout family is doing what it does best… Supporting, Connecting, and Showing Care and Concern for each other and for its Community. In years to come we will look back with grateful hearts and remember how this council showed up for each other.
Community: One thing we have learned from this pandemic is that we cannot do this alone. There is an interdependence that is requiring all of us to do our part. Girls, volunteers, parents, staff, donors, community and board members — we each have a role to play in the success of this council.
Humans have a basic need to feel connected, which is why most of us show up, and is what makes Girl Scouts powerful. We will get through these challenges by working together. It may mean doing things in new innovative ways, building new partnerships, and adapting to new realities. As we maneuver through all of this, we will emerge as a stronger, even more connected council.
As your Board, we come to the table, and will work to serve diligently by:
1) Making Girl Scouting accessible to ALL girls. Every girl is deserving. And girls…you are the Heart of this council.
2) Supporting our volunteers. We know that it’s not organizations that changes lives…it’s relationships that changes lives. Volunteers…You are the Lifeblood.
3) Supporting this community, by listening and responding to its needs, and staying true to our mission: To build girls of courage, confidence and character to make the world a better place.
Thank you for being a part of the Girl Scout Family. I am so grateful for everyone’s hard work, and for your acts of love and kindness. Although we are not physically together this morning, I am hopeful that we will continue to find ways to connect, until we are ready to rejoin our Girl Scout Circle in person.
For more information about the Girl Scouts, visit www.girlscoutsaz.org.