Thursday, July 12, 2012

Girls Scouts and Girl Guides from All Over the World Gather in Chicago

Guest blog by Andrea Quintanar, who is a senior Girl Scout and Silver Award recipient who attended the Girls’ World Forum in Chicago. Andrea will begin work on her Gold Award in the fall.
Hello from the Girls World Forum! I arrived in Chicago for the event yesterday and it began today. The Girls World Forum is designed to discuss three of the United Nations Millennium Development Goals. The three goals that the girl participants chose were Gender Equality, Environmental Sustainability, and Reduction of Poverty. I was one of two girls chosen to represent the San Diego council at the forum. Along with two girls from each council in the United States, there are also Girl Scouts and Girl Guides from 92 countries.

Last night, after the hustle and bustle of various check-ins and paperwork we all got together for dinner. As we ate, we listened to the Girl Planning Board, the National President of Girl Scouts Connie L. Lindsey, and the Girls Scouts of the USA Chief Executive Officer Anna Maria Chávez. They told us how excited they were to have all of us together, and how happy they were to be there. After dinner, we were all given one assignment: mingle. There were so many girls from so many interesting places that it wasn’t hard to do at all. I walked around, talking to girls and chaperones.

The swaps were amazing, but even more so the girls. Lucy from New Zealand. Hannah from England. Mai from Taiwan. Beverly from Namibia. They all had things to say about their countries, Girl Scouting, and the one thing everybody heard over and over: “It's so nice to meet you.” And it was. It was nice to finally meet the people with whom we’ll be discussing such big complex topics in the next few days. After about an hour or so, everyone started heading to their room to sleep after long days of traveling. We were assigned to rooms of two, and each girl is rooming with a girl coming from a different place. Last night, I wrote this blog post while I listened to the sound of my roommate sleeping. She is an amazing girl from Africa. It’s been hectic so far, but I’m excited for next few days.
Girls' World Forum 2012 is currently underway in Chicago.