And so began our opening ceremony.....
In case you can't see the photo above very well, that would be our very own CEO down there dancing with some Scouts and Guides! Seriously, as far as a Girl Scout CEO goes, she's rockin'!
Heather made an interesting observation (which I found to be true). She said that Melinda Carol is like the Bon Jovi of Girl Scouts. I mean really, she is. We all know her, and her songs, and she sings at all of our big events. She did several amazing songs with us, including a really awesome one from Africa!
Connie Lindsay (our National President) and Anna Maria Chavez were also present at the opening ceremony. It was amazing to see their support in us.
We immediately fell into our sessions. The scouts and guides were off on one side of the hotel, and we adults were put on another (I should really ask Sa'Haara and Madison if they would like to guest blog on here!).
Remember what the first year of college was like? For me, I felt like my head was going to explode with all of the information that was being crammed into it. With all of the research I had already done, I felt like what more if there for me to learn? Oh yeah, a LOT more. We learned some frightening statistics on the MDG's, women's accomplishments and abuse (verbally, physically), and where the planet is heading. We also did some break out sessions to learn more about the MDG's we felt like we needed to learn more on. Listening to women from other countries who have experienced or witnessed these problems first hand shocked me. It literally took everything in me not to burst into tears listening to some of their stories.
Thankfully, lunch was next (it was a nice break), and I made more new friends. After lunch, it was back to work. We learned more about the MDG's and the issues at hand. Still, I was fighting back the tears! We learned about the 3 themes (2010: plant, 2011: grow, 2012: share), Stop the Violence campaign (this is IMPORTANT!!!!!), and more.
After this, the adults broke up into two groups- US scouts and international scouts/guides. It was there that something truly amazing happened. At our table, we were discussing what WAGGGS meant to us. I won't post the details/answer because this is a question I intend to ask others in the future. I will say this- one woman had a truly incredible idea that I want to do in the future. The Sisterhood of the Traveling Scarf. More on that later....
Our day was finished off by a wonderful tour of Chicago on.... A DOUBLE DECKER BUS!!! Yeah, it was awesome. We spent the first half of the tour down below, but finished off up top and saw some awesome things!