Friday, May 8, 2015

On the Road with Anna: Mississippi

volunteer with girl scouts

Welcome to “On the Road with Anna,” in which we continue following Girl Scouts of the USA CEO Anna Maria Chávez as she travels the country meeting the girls, volunteers, and council teams that help make Girl Scouts such a powerful force for change. 

volunteer with Anna

I recently returned from a fantastic visit with Girl Scouts of Greater Mississippi.

I had the privilege of speaking at their annual meeting on Saturday at the University of Southern Mississippi in Hattiesburg, and to thank the terrific council staff, volunteers, and board members who work so hard on behalf of girls. I also had the amazing opportunity to see the strength and resilience that powers our Movement at work when I visited Camp Iti Kana, in nearby Wiggins.

As you may remember, in 2013, a devastating EF4 tornado struck the city of Hattiesburg, severely damaging the council’s facility there. Instead of rebuilding its office in the city, the council decided to build back bigger and better, creating “The Lodge,” a first-rate facility at camp Iti Kana for the council’s girls to use as they learn and grow. 

volunteer with girl scouts

“In 2013 our council and our community were devastated by the tornadoes that touched down in Hattiesburg,” said Girl Scouts of Greater Mississippi CEO Becky Traweek. “We lost two facilities that had touched the hearts of so many. But now, two years later, we’re celebrating. This season we’ll have a great new facility at Camp Iti Kana, and we know it will serve our girls for years to come.”

This weekend’s ribbon cutting ceremony showed once again how Girl Scouts so often turn tragedy into opportunity when faced with challenges. The event was exciting and inspiring for the girls, the council, and the entire Hattiesburg community. It was covered by WDAM Channel 7 and by the local newspaper, The Hattiesburg American.

volunteer with girl scouts

What a fantastic way to show our commitment to bringing all the benefits of the outdoors to more girls!

Of course, I also got to meet some Girl Scouts while I was there as well. Check out this video to see more.

Until next time…