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Annual Report Header
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CEO Letter
Honoring Over a Decade of Leadership

Year at a Glance

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Your Impact 

Innovative Programming

During Fall 2019, Girl Scouts of Southern Arizona invited girls to the inaugural Cyber Challenge Day, in partnership with Raytheon. Over eighty girls participated in the program at the University of Arizona, learning about cryptography, hacking, encryption, forensics, and other cyber topics. Girls listened to a panel of female Raytheon employees from various stages of leadership share their experiences within their career. The purpose of the event, supported by Raytheon employees who volunteered as facilitators, was to inspire interest in girls towards traditionally male-dominated careers within the STEM field. One volunteer shared that there were less than a handful of women in his whole class, and he felt he had missed all of the talents that more women could provide. He volunteered in the hopes of welcoming more women into STEM fields.

With the emergence of COVID-19, social distancing guidelines inspired us to reimagine the ways we engage with our Girl Scouts. As a result, our staff invented Virtual Girl Scouting, online programming to keep girls active amidst the long months at home. Girls practiced making healthy snacks, created art for others, learned how to plan a community change project, grew their conservation and nature skills, and more. Through pillar-themed activity boxes and badge-in-a-bags, GSSOAZ offered offline Girl Scouting experiences that taught girls all kinds of helpful skills while keeping them entertained as well. Virtual programming also allowed the whole family to participate in activities, including siblings who may have otherwise been unable to join.

STEM programming remained increasingly relevant during the pandemic, as girls were isolated from typical forms of communication and connection. GSSOAZ extended multiple opportunities for girls to learn more about important STEM subjects. On Cyber Security Day, girls learned how to be cyber sleuths. Girls engaged with each other through an online meeting to discuss how to use the internet safely, from the importance of secure passwords to recognizing fake emails and photographs. At the end, they earned their Cyber Security badges.

In the STEM activity box, girls become geologists, inspecting geodes and learning about dinosaurs, erosion, and tectonic plates. They even made their own fossils using plaster and playdough! One caregiver shared that her daughter “had fun for days,” and that she was able to do all of the activities again with the remaining supplies.

Girls rose to the challenges brought on by the pandemic this year, continuing to engage with each other and learn new skills that will set them up for future success. 

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Camp Log On

As summer approached, we took the lessons we learned from Virtual Girl Scouting and applied them to an at-home hybrid camp experience called Camp Log On, which included virtual meetings with campers, personal checkins with counselors, and a robust activity box for every camp session. Camp Log On allowed girls to stay active last summer, going on their own adventures while still safe at home. We were blown away by the responses to our Camp Log On sessions, which had over 900 registrations!

One caregiver said, 

"Once my daughter started the camp, she had such a blast…She instantly begged me to sign up for more camps…This has given her something to look forward to every day, and I am so very thankful for that. Like all of us, our lives have been turned upside down from COVID-19, but this has given her familiarity and belonging within Girl Scouts, and that itself is priceless."

With creative and unique camp sessions every week, there was a theme for any kind of girl. Girls who wanted to learn about mental health and taking care of their bodies could join the Self-Care Week. Girls who enjoyed nature could hear the call of the wild with the Great Outdoors Week. There was even a Best Of Week in which campers experienced the most-loved pieces from every session!

Another caregiver shared,

"I’m hoping that [my daughter] sees that a little distance doesn’t have to get in the way of friendships when we’ve got technology! It’s great for her to see that the Girl Scout traditions she loves with her local GS sisters are shared across the country."

Because of Camp Log On, girls had valuable camp memories that will last a lifetime: building volcanoes, solving mysteries, embracing nature, even participating in virtual campfire sing-a-longs with friends. It truly reminded us that the magic of camp is not tied to a place, but in the songs you sing, the fun you have, and the people you meet.

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Gold Award

The Gold Award is open to Girl Scout Seniors (grades 9–10) and Ambassadors (grades 11–12). Being the highest award in Girl Scouts and the most prestigious award in the world for girls, Gold Award Girl Scouts are passionate about an issue and want to make a difference in a big way. 

Sydney Loudermilk developed and implemented a 4-H project curriculum to address hunger and food insecurity. She combatted this issue through several projects that would allow students to explore various community services and resources. She installed food pantries in different areas; built sustainable, affordable vegetable gardens; and hosted a food drive. Because of her efforts, people in need have access to essential food resources, and youth in the 4-H organization will be able to gain the knowledge and skills required to effectively fight hunger and food deserts in their community for decades to come.

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Silver Award

The Silver Award is the highest award a Girl Scout Cadette can earn—giving her the chance to do big things and making her community better in the process. Silver Award Girl Scouts look at the world around them and create community growth in many ways.

Driven by a desire to share the wonders of the night sky with others, sisters Rebecca and Charlotte Turner, developed presentations and simulations and launched a kid-friendly version of Dark Skies (darkskies4kids.org) to educate youth about the disadvantages of light pollution. In addition to earning their Silver Awards, Charlotte and Rebecca received “Rising Star” awards from the International Dark Sky Association for their work. 

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Bronze Award

The Bronze Award is the highest honor a Girl Scout Junior can achieve. As she and her troop plan and complete their project, they meet new people and create sustainable change in their community.

Girls in Troop 460 gave back to their community by teaching students and their families how to make dog toys – which were later donated to the Humane Society – and by raising awareness about the negative environmental impacts of plastic straws. They inspired 76 individuals to pledge to go straw-less for two weeks!

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Thank you to all of our supporters!

Corporations, Foundations, Organizations, and Individuals

Juliette Gordon Low Society – Legacy Donors