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Otterbein Sophomore Planned National Girl Scouts Convention

Otterbein Sophomore Planned National Girl Scouts Convention

By Meagan Van Stone '19

Otterbein sophomore Madie Moore was one of the few interns responsible for organizing the 54th National Girl Scout Convention and G.I.R.L. 2017 event in downtown Columbus Oct. 5-7. Moore answered a few questions about her involvement in Girl Scouts and how she was able to help organize this enormous event.

Describe to me what you are doing at the Girl Scout event?

Answer: I am the Summer Volunteer Management Intern at Girl Scout of the USA (GSUSA) Headquarters in New York, New York where I was out-based to Columbus, Ohio to assist in the planning process of the 54th National Girl Scout Convention and G.I.R.L. 2017. In Columbus, I will be directly assisting the host council, Girl Scouts of Ohio's Heartland (GSOH), with the volunteer outreach, organizing and training for G.I.R.L. 2017. The majority of my internship was spent building the council's volunteer management system in the program InitLive and creating training webinars for volunteers.

Question: How did you receive this internship?

Answer: I applied through the GSUSA website after my connections with GSOH highly encouraged me to apply. This internship was meant for either a junior or senior in college, though my comparative advantages were my connections with the host council. I have been a member of Girl Scouts of 14 years. I was a Lifetime Girl Scout Member, and I had earned all three of my highest awards: Bronze Award, Sliver Award, and the Gold Award (only about five percent of eligible Girl Scouts earn their Gold Award).

Question: What were the steps you needed to take to make this event happen?

Answer: Many steps had gone into the planning of the event. Similar to the Olympics, every state had the chance of becoming a host state. They go through an application process before being chosen. Columbus was announced at the closing of the 53rd convention in Salt Lake, Utah in 2014. Then, a host council is chosen and the planning team is formed, known as the CST team. You have to start securing the venue, the speakers and the exhibitors. The InitLive Volunteer Management System was being created around 10 months before the event took place. The last step to make the event possible is having a volunteers and staff members who are flexible and willing to make the event a positive experience to all. 

Question: What have you learned from your experience so far?

Answer: This internship has refined my leadership skills as well as my task management skills. I learned how to be an independent and flexible worker as we had many different team changes. I had to learn quickly in order to pick up extra responsibilities to ensure for my team’s success. Working in the nonprofit sector has always been a career dream and I am now more determined and prepared for a future in the nonprofit sector after my internship with GSUSA. I am grateful for this opportunity because it allowed me to plan, organize and train 1,200 volunteers for a National Convention. My biggest takeaway was how to release my best Go-getter, Innovator, Risk-taker, and Leader. I am a G.I.R.L.!

Question: When is the event, where is it held, what times will it be, is this an open event?

Answer: G.I.R.L. 2017 opens up to the public at the Greater Columbus Convention Center in Downtown Columbus on Friday, Oct. 5, and will close on Sunday, Oct. 7. Our main event, the expo-styled Hall of Experiences full of hands on activities and venders for all ages will be open Friday. I suggest checking out the Space Camp booth where you can ride the Space Simulator, and of course Otterbein's booth as well.

Question: What has been your favorite part from planning this event?

Answer: My favorite part from planning this event has been recruiting volunteers. I loved presenting to a variety of different groups around Columbus about this exciting event. My favorite was when I would meet other people who were or are still Girl Scouts. The stories of how Girl Scouts has shaped the lives of many individuals light up my heart.  

Question: How do you feel this event has changed the way you feel about Girl Scouts?

Answer: With this event, I feel ever more connected to the organization as a whole. I feel at home. It is an incredible experience to know that all the people you meet were also impacted by the same organization. My favorite aspect of G.I.R.L. 2017 is how it is open to the public. Girl Scouts is becoming a more inclusive organization by reaching out to communities that many not have the resources to be a part of Girl Scouts, or were unsure what the organization stood for and inviting them to join us in our celebration of women, girls and their supporters.  

Question:  Is the event going as planned?

Answer: The event is going spectacular! We have people coming from all over the nation and the world to both celebrate and discuss how we can better serve our communities.